That was one of the reasons why I wanted to tell the story of Colin Price. I saw someone in this fictionalized political character that was trying to do something important for his city. He meant well, but then you see that the human flaws had really derailed his past. It seems to be happening more and more in our country. I wanted to hold a mirror up to that.
The only way the devil really exists in my opinion... is in interactions with people who don't walk the walk and talk the talk; people who act one way, or talk one way and then do another. Those are the deals with the devil. I don't see the devil as somebody who is a horned, goateed guy with a fork in his hand that's there to continuously stab me and send my soul to hell. I don't see it that way at all.
How do you say one actor is better than another actor? You can definitely say that in the Olympics if it's the same race and someone wins the race. The only way to really do it and have it be sincere would be if you get all the actors together, and they're all playing the same part, and then you rate which one made you feel the most.
Without mentioning any names, I looked at pretty much every story that may come to your mind about a politician on the rise who was stopped short or dragged down by personal flaws and then became just a media storm. I see this as a thing that continues to happen in America and I wanted to say something about that.
When you start a movie, it's not like other kinds of work that you have when you know your boss for years or colleagues for years. You're meeting everyone, mostly, for the first time. You have to get comfortable with those people so you can perform, because the first thing that is going to shut you down is any kind of anxiety.
I remember once imagining what my life would be like, what I'd be like. I pictured having all these qualities, strong positive qualities that people could pick up on from across the room. But as time passed, few became qualities that I actually had. And all the possibilities I faced, and the sorts of people I could be, all of them got reduced every year to fewer and fewer until finally they got reduced to one - to who I am. And that's who I am.
When I started experimenting with fantasy and horror films and looking for characters who had some sort of emotional or mental difficulty, I saw opportunities to express my music - dare I say art - in a way that I could get a bit surreal - like Francis Bacon's screaming pope, or Edvard Munch with [The Scream].
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I think that 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' was mentally taxing, if only because I had to go to a Christmas party shortly after I had wrapped photography in Romania at two in the morning as the Ghost Rider. The invitation had a Christmas ornament on it with Ghost Rider's face on it as a tree.
As a child, these colourful superheroes that could fly, or were horrifying like Ghost Rider and the Hulk, with this tremendous rage or these supernatural powers, provided an escape for me from my mundane existence, from my lack of friends or my inability to communicate well with people. They liberated me.
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Well, good science fiction is intelligent. It asks big questions that are on people's minds. It's not impossible. It has some sort of root in the abstract. So automatically you're getting closer to potentially divine sources of interest because it is abstract. It's one of the only ways that a film actor can express himself in the abstract and have audiences still go along for the ride. They don't contend it. They accept it, that they're going to go places that are a bit more of the imagination, a bit more out there, and that's more and more where I like to dance.
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I was very happy with Vampire's Kiss, which in my opinion was almost like an independent laboratory to start realizing some of my more expressionistic dreams with film performance. Then using what I had learned in Vampire's Kiss and putting it into a very big action movie in the form of Face/Off with John Woo. If you look at those two movies back to back, you can see where I stole from my performance in Vampire's Kiss.
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I see myself as a student. I would never call myself a master or a maestro. If you take the path of the student, that means that you have to try a little bit of everything in the hopes that you're going to learn something or strike some kind of new note or new sound or new expression in the process. I'm not going for grades. I'm going for an education. That means I'm going to continue experimenting and trying new things to try to evolve and learn.
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I generally enjoy the rehearsal process because that's where you can share your ideas, get your thoughts and feelings out and see whether or not they're going to land, whether or not people are going to agree with them, particularly the director. So you can sort out in that process any elements that need to be sorted out before you're on the set, and of course that saves time and it also makes everyone more comfortable working together.
In the beginning my energy and passion for acting came from an almost punk rock need to express a lot of anger wherever that may have come from. As I got older, it became or is coming more from a place of wanting to use the craft to help others in some way, to hold a mirror up to the situations that we're going through, to actually be more cautious about the way that I use the power of film and to see if there's anything that I can do in the performances that will resonate in the public a similar string that's on people's minds and is on my mind. That way we have that relationship.
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Well, Amber [Heard] is still raising her eyebrow at me because I said that I've been 180 miles per hour on the 405 freeway on a motorcycle and she doesn't believe me but it's a true story. I did it coming home from work at 3 in the morning on another movie I made about cars called Gone in 60 Seconds. I bought a Yamaha-1 and I was doing 180 miles per hour home on the 405 and that's really, really crazy but I did it.
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People often say that you should never work with child actors. I think that's all wrong. Children have not had the imagination kicked out of them by life experience and adulthood. So, they still are very much alive with that kind of magical thinking which enables an actor to believe they're in these circumstances and make them real to you.
My father once said, 'If you're in the desert and you're dying of thirst, are you going to drink a glass of blood or are you going to drink a glass of water?' I think what he was trying to say, interesting coming from my blood father, is sometimes there are people in your family that can be toxic.
I have dogs, and it's no secret that I find reptiles interesting, but the thing about reptiles is that they really just wanna be left alone, and I understand them. It's, 'Don't pick me up, stop holding me, don't look at me, just leave me alone.' I have to admit, sometimes I feel like that.